The all new Toyota Corolla has been launched in India on the 27th of May. Prices have been announced. 10 variants in 7 colours are on offer. 6 variants in petrol (2 automatic) and 4 in diesel. It’s been a couple months since the previous model went off the market to make way for its replacement. Toyota badly needed a fresh product to take on the intense competition in the D segment. The car which the new model is replacing has been around for a good 6 years and had started to show it’s age versus the competition from Hyundai,Volkswagen and Skoda.
The world’s largest selling car, the Toyota Corolla is now in it’s 11 generation. The Indian spec Corolla Altis, seems like a smaller compact version of the Camry. My first thought when I see the car is ‘Baby Camry’. Family styling of the brand is very apparent on the Camry and Corolla Altis. I think it looks very sharp and aggressive. It is quite a looker. I feel it’s the best looking Corolla to date. Toyota has been riding high on the success of the Innova and the Fortuner. Can’t say much about the Etios twins. I hope they regain their lost spot in the D segment. At one point the Corolla used to be the reigning king. The Corolla has been tremendously successful since it launched in India, way back in 2003. Toyota in India, has an image of being supremely reliable and crossing 100k kms+ with ease. Not something, many of it’s European rivals can boast off.
The car has a 1.8L 140bhp motor doing duty under the hood of the petrol variant and a 1.4L variable turbo 88 bhp motor in diesel. The diesel is grossly under powered for a car of it’s size and weight, not to mention the price and segment the car is positioned in. However, the demographics of petrol and diesel buyers differ. The diesel motor is extremely fuel efficient while the petrol engine is a great smooth powerful drive. For being chauffeur driven and/or with high running, the diesel makes more sense. If running is on the lower side and you like to drive, the petrol Corolla Altis is the one for you. It has one of the best rear seats around. The Corolla is backed by Toyota reliability and a nation wide service network.
The entire D segment has shrunk. According to recent studies, people are increasingly going in for the C+ segment, which offers almost as much power and features at a lower price point. Honda pulled out the Civic from the market because of this. At present the segment is dominated by the Hyundai Elantra. Some of the major direct competitors to the Corolla Altis are the Cruze, Octavia, Jetta and Elantra.
The Ex-showroom Prices (Delhi)
Corolla Altis Petrol
1.8 JS Manual Rs 11,99,000
1.8 G Manual Rs 13,74,324
1.8 G Automatic Rs 15,04,324
1.8 GL Manual Rs 15,38,324
1.8 VL Autommatic Rs 16,89,324
Corlla Altis Diesel
1.4 J Manual Rs 13,07,324
1.4 JS Manual Rs 13,64,324
1.4 G Manual Rs 15,04,324
1.4 GL Manual 16,68,324
Prices are same as that of the outgoing model. While the prices seem okay for the segment, it does not correspond to the equipment and features on offer. Especially the diesel model, it’s an awful lot of money for a 1.4L 88 bhp engine. Dual airbags and ABS is standard on all variants. A very commendable move by Toyota, with regard to safety. However, 6 airbags should have been optional. Car’s like the new Honda City and Hyundai Verna have superior features. Even the Hyundai Grand i10 which is two segments lower than the Corolla Altis gets rear ac vents. It’s main competitor the Hyundai Elantra, is much better equipped and significantly cheaper variant to variant. The Elantra even has a automatic diesel in its portfolio.
All in all, great looking car. I feel it’s decently price. However, you should be ready to overlook some missing features that the chief competitors offer.
Pictures sourced from Toyota Website.